How To Use Timber As An Exterior Design Feature

Timber is increasingly used for creating stunning outdoor design features, following a trend for natural finishes, raw materials and mixed textures.

Wood structures generate a sense of warmth and connect with their natural surroundings. With its neutral palette, timber also harmonises with other building materials, such as brick or concrete, and can be used for a multitude of outdoor applications that are both stylish and practical. Boral Timber highlights some of the different ways timber can be used to create interesting landscaping features to suit any outdoor space.

Install A Timber Feature Wall

Spruce up a garden or courtyard without renovating the entire space by adding a timber feature wall. This is a great way to inject natural elements into the backyard, and a simple way to warm up a concrete or rendered space. It can also soften hardscapes where planting or foliage may not allow for a variety of textures. Whether using vertical battens or horizontal slats, a timber feature wall creates an eye-catching pattern to transform an outdoor area into a contemporary design space. They can also double as privacy screens or be used for practical purposes like hiding garbage bins. Timber feature walls work best against block colours and textures, so be mindful to choose a timber species with contrasting tones.

Zone The Garden

Establishing different zones adds visual interest to any outdoor design and maximises functionality. Using timber creatively can include a deck which has multiple levels or platforms to define areas with different functions. Timber planter beds can be built up to add a touch of greenery and give the space dimension. For areas with limited space, built-in bench seating provides ample room for entertaining whilst creating a visual focal point. Lighter timbers, such as Blackbutt and Tallowwood, are popular choices, providing a fresh, neutral canvas for landscaping designs. Lighter coloured timber can also help to make smaller areas seem larger.

Build A Timber Pergola

Pergolas add beauty and functionality to an outdoor space. A thoughtfully designed pergola will define an outdoor living area with instant character and wow-factor.

The St Peters Cottage Extension, designed and built by Glasshouse Projects, is a prime example of a functional yet eye-catching residential pergola design. The rear of the home is punctuated with an outdoor living area surrounded by enormous Blackbutt timber frames, which add warmth to the charcoal tones and matte finish of the exterior cladding.

The alfresco timber pergola was designed as a portal frame, cleverly focusing the views from the interior through to the stunning infinity pool. Blackbutt was chosen for both its functional and aesthetic benefits. Australian hardwood species are extremely durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions, including rain, humidity, wind, salt and intense heat. Blackbutt met the structural requirements of the design whilst adding the warmth and tactility that only comes from a natural material like timber. The St Peters Cottage Extension won at the 2016 Master Builders South Australia Awards, for excellence in a renovation or addition $600,000 to $1M.

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